New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing allegations that he was sexually inappropriate toward three women. Harassment allegations from two women, former aides to Cuomo, led New York Attorney General Letitia James to launch an investigation.
James said Monday she received a formal referral from Cuomo’s office, granting her the ability to choose an investigator to look into the allegations.
“This is not a responsibility we take lightly as allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously,” James said in a statement, adding that the findings of the investigation would be made public after its completion.
“All members of the Governor’s office will cooperate fully. We will have no further comment until the report is issued,” said Beth Garvey, special counsel and senior advisor to Cuomo.
Late Monday, Anna Ruch accused the governor of putting his hand on her lower back, then placing his hands on her cheeks and asking if he could kiss her at a wedding reception in September 2019. Ruch detailed her allegations to the New York Times.
Ruch is the third woman to accuse Cuomo of sexual misconduct.
Cuomo attempted to apologize in a statement Sunday.
“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal,” he said. “Some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday joined the growing number of voices supporting an independent investigation.
“He seemed to be saying, ‘Oh I was just kidding around.’ Sexual harassment isn’t funny,” de Blasio said.